Saturday, 5 July 2014

Book: Bonds of Courage by Lynda Aicher

I received a copy of Bonds of Courage, book 6 of Wicked Play, from Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Vanessa has spent her life keeping the three parts of it separate; her family, her work in PR, and her life as a Domme at the Den. But then along comes hockey player Holden Hauke, who seems to rip down those walls and get beneath, to the real Vanessa. Not used to showing much emotion, Vanessa doesn't know how to deal with what she feels for Holden, made even more complicated by the secrecy that needs to surround their relationship...after all if news that Holden was a submissive got out then his career could be over for good.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed the previous book from this series that I read, Bonds of Hope (unfortunately only read one other, but I do really want to read the other books!) and how it was so complex and romantic. Now don't get me wrong, there is BDSM in this book, quite a bit of it, but that is part of the story in a way that I have never read in anything else, and as with Bonds of Hope, the love story in Bonds of Courage really stands out.

Though that romance is far from perfect, namely because Vanessa isn't. She has trust issues and that makes her make bad decisions, particularly around Holden, but as a reader you can also see those walls coming down, and not just towards Holden. It was particularly interesting because I don't remember Vanessa as a very warm character from the previous book and this made her very different.

In terms of the sex, there are descriptive scenes of BDSM activities, though in a switch from anything else I have read, in this book the Domme is female and the submissive male, which made an interesting change, but there are sex scenes of a "normal" variety too. Even then they don't take up too much of the book, and the balance in the story is right.

Another big part of the story was the work that Vanessa's sister, Liv, did with young underprivileged kids, though it was mainly Holden that made Vanessa's worlds collide, in some ways it was Liv too, as she had relationships with both Holden and Vanessa that brought about more help.

As with Bonds of Hope, I really hope that people look past the BDSM aspect of this book if they don't like reading it (and if you do like reading it then what are you waiting for??????) and pick it up, mostly its a book about finding yourself, and finding love.